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ToBe DIScontinued! - The Hall of Unresolved TV Cliffhangers: 1996-2000
The cliffhanger snowball just kept rolling and rolling, and with the Internet becoming more popular, it was inevtiable that people would use the online medium to complain about unresolved cliffhangers. So here are some more cliffhangers, this time from the digital age.
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Show: Space: Above and Beyond
Genre: Sci-fi Action
Network: Fox
Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Tell Our Moms We Done Our Best"
Details: It was cancelled with some marines apparently -- but possibly not -- killed in action (1 character blown up, 2 more chucked into a poisonous atmosphere) and the fates of other crew members uncertain. (Thanks George Avalos! And a mention to Nadia as well.)


Show: Nowhere Man
Genre: Drama
Network: UPN
Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Gemini Man"
Details: To the best of the first submitter Miles Carter's recollection, the main character, Thomas Veil (Bruce Greenwood) had this dude, involved in the whole life-stealing conspiracy that had been afffecting his life, tied up in a house. He revealed that Thomas was actually part of an experiment to see how far one could go in reworking peoples memories from the beginning. There were a few discrepancies in his account especially concerning the execution photo that started it all. So Thomas shot the dude in the leg to try and persuade him to tell him the truth, and the dude killed himself by biting down on one of those hollow teeth filled w/ poison. The show ended with Thomas standing there aghast.
Extra info has since surfaced: After finding out that his so-called "real" identity was just an identity programmed into his mind, Veil found a safehouse that he supposedly set up for himself pre-brainwash, as well as a negative of the original photo that started it all, "Hidden Agenda": not three hanged men in South America but three US senators being hanged in a field near Washington, DC. After the raiding of the FBI office by gunmen (a glaring "homage" to Three Days of The Condor) and the replacement of a US senator with a lookalike (Veil was hoping to look for info from them), Veil then went to an FBI director's home, leading to the scene above, with the FBI director revealing that Veil was also an FBI agent and part of a deep undercover operation called Project Gemini. (Get the ep title now?) (Thanks Ryan Coulter! )

Show: Strange Luck
Genre: Adventure
Network: Fox
Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Lightning Strikes"
Details: This was a show on Fox that was going to be tied in with the X-Files (apparently, one character claimed that Agent Mulder was one of his friends). The premise of the show was that the lead character (D.B. Sweeney) always had good luck no matter where he went. Its cliffhanger was that the character, after getting struck by lightning, finding his daddy, and seeing his daddy and brother die in an explosion... got struck by lightning AGAIN (thus the ep title). (Thanks Baskinator! Also, some info has been added by Rob.)

Show: Partners
Genre: Sitcom
Network: Fox
Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Will You Marry Me?" (many of the eps had titles in the form of a question, like "Who's Janet?" and "Do We Have to Write You a Check?")
Details: Two of the lead characters, Tate Fonovan and Maria Pitillo, broke down in the desert on their wedding day.  The series was cancelled, so viewers never found out if they made it to the church on time. (Thanks Paul Freitag!)

Show: The Governor
Genre: Prison Drama
Network: ITV
Last Aired: 1996

Details: The second series ended with Craig Charles (a guest star perhaps?) gunning down Janet McTeer (the main character, governor of the prison it took place in). Never came back to resolve it. (Thanks Dom Robinson!)

Show: Cardiac Arrest
Genre: Medical Drama
Network: BBC
Last Aired: 1996

Details: The series ended with one of the doctors, Dr. Collin (Andrew Lancel) being stabbed with a hyperdermic syringe full of adrenaline. It was left with him fighting a seemingly losing battle for his life and was set up for a new series. Trouble is, the series was dropped for supposedly giving a negative impression of the NHS. (Thanks Stan!)

Show: Profit
Genre: Satirical Business Drama
Network: Fox
Last Aired: 1996

Details: Starring Adrian Pasdar as Jim Profit, a high-level executive Iago, this show was a parody of the business world, as Jim Profit ruthlessly got rid of anyone who stood in his way. Unfortunately, the ratings on Fox were so low that Fox didn't even show the final episodes. There was sort of an ending, as Jim Profit brought peace and stability to the company he considered his family. However, one of Jim's enemies had discovered that Jim had stolen the identity of someone else, and she was going to Europe to find the real Jim Profit. (Thanks James Lynch!)

Show: Space Cases
Genre: Family Sci-Fi
Network: Nickelodeon (yes, the guys responsible for Rugrats)
Last Aired: 1997
Details: Basically "Lost in Space" for kids, this Nick show ended with the main characters jumping into a white hole that should take them back to earth. Then the show ended, and was not renewed. (Thanks Joe Kavanagh!)

Show: Forever Knight
Genre: Drama
Network: CBS
Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Last Knight"
Details: By this ep, only three characters remained: the titular Knight (Geraint Wyn Davies), LaCroix (Nigel Bennett) and Natalie (Catherine Discher). Knight bit Natalie in an attempt to become human, however, it left her at the threshhold of death and LaCroix suggested that he either let her die or bring her across to her world. Knight's own suggestion: have LaCroix stab him with a stake. (Thanks, Robert Jenner!)


Show: Duckman
Genre: Animated Comedy
Network: USA Network
Last Aired: 1997
Episode Title: "Four Weddings Inconceivable"
Details: Another wedding cliffhanger! Many of the main characters got hitched in the finale including the title character (Jason Alexander aka George on Seinfeld), but then suddenly popping out of nowhere was his late wife Beatrice (Nancy Travis, who also played Beatrice's sisters). Shades of "Good and Evil" perhaps? (Personal interest: show was produced by Klasky Csupo, who also produced the popular Nick show Rugrats.)
About the cliffhanger, series (and final episode) writer Michael Markowitz noted (in Sep 1998) on the alt.tv.duckman newsgroup:
"We never formally planned Part II... and I'll never tell what I personally had in mind. I'm hoping to leave it to my heirs, for the inevitable day when Duckman is revived by future generations. Ah, the Spandex suits they'll wear, the hovercrafts they'll fly!"
(Thanks John H, for the quote!)


Show: Boston Common
Genre: Sitcom
Network: NBC
Last Aired: 1997
Episode Title: "Sophomore's Choice"
Details: There were four (!) cliffhangers: 1) Leonard (Steve Paymer) trying to ask Cookie (guest star Margot Kidder) to marry him, 2) Tasha (Tasha Smith) about to be fired from her job, 3) Joy (Traylor Howard) being hired as a professor in Jack's (Vincent Ventresca) department, and 4) Wyleen (Hedy Buress) telling brother Boyd (Anthony Clark) to move out. (Thanks Aaron Carlisle, for the pointer!)


Show: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Genre: Action Drama
Network: ABC
Last Aired: 1997
Episode Title: "The Family Hour"
Rough Details: I got this through my poll form, from a couple different people (though I'll only credit the first). Apparently, the end of this ep saw a baby come out of nowhere with a note to Clark Kent (Dean Cain) for him and Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher), now his wife, to take care of him. This was supposed to be explained in a 5th season, and although the show was renewed for one, ABC ended up backing out of it, effectively cancelling the show. (Thanks Laura Davies!)

Show: Remember WENN
Genre: Comedy-Drama
Network: AMC (American Movie Classics)
Last Aired: 1998
Episode Title: "All's Noisy on the Pittsburgh Front"
Details: If there was such a thing as a "cult" cliffhanger, this would be it, probably on account of the multitude of storylines involved.
1. In the finale the two rivals for head writer Betty Roberts (Amanda Naughton), original & current station manager Victor Comstock (John Bedford Lloyd) & former station manager turned radio actor Scott Sherwood (Kevin O'Rourke), brought the triangle to a head. Both men had enlisted, with Capt. Comstock as Lt. Sherwood's immediate superior. They'd cornered Miss Roberts & asked her who should be sent overseas between the two. The episode ended with Comstock saying to Miss Roberts, "As they say at the Buttery, I'm ready to take your order; what will it be?"
2. Meanwhile Jeff Singer (Hugh O'Gorman) seemed to have finally worn down ex-wife Hilary Booth's (Melinda Mullins) resistance with his latest proposal & divorce from his other wife (which is a tale in itself). Only problem remaining was: she was married to someone else!
3. Meanwhile another relationship had come to a crux: that between the taciturn sound effects man Mr. Foley (Tom Beckett) & dear organist Eugenia Bremer (Mary Stout). She'd asked him to tell her how she felt about her & where he wanted the relationship to go, & it would've been the first time he'd ever spoken on-camera (he'd frequently been referred to as speaking, but we never got to hear him).
Perhaps show doyen Rupert Holmes set up all those impossible-to-resolve cliffhangers on purpose. (Perhaps not... check out the revision. - Rover_Wow) (Thanks Nathaniel T. Freeman!)
Latest scoop, from Linda M. Young: just to set the record straight on REMEMBER WENN, the series was supposed to be renewed for a fifth season (either a whole season of 15 episodes or a short season of 8). Indeed, a facet of the fourth season was a contest AMC ran within four of the episodes: the grand prize was a part in the next season of the show! Up until September 21, 1998, series creator and writer Rupert Holmes had no idea the show would be axed. The suits at AMC waited until he was away on tour with a stage play he had written to announce the cancellation.
Of course AMC did everything they could to sabotage the series during fourth season anyway. The existing storylines were ordered dropped, the episodes were shortened from 29 to 22 minutes in order for the series to be “viable for syndication” (it has not ever been syndicated; AMC was even too cheap to let WQED in Pittsburgh have the show for a fundraising drive, even though WQED offered them free advertising in return), and Holmes’ idea for a movie spoof was dropped in favor of an absolutely awful story parodying the film SUNSET BOULEVARD, written by someone who evidently knew little about the show’s characters.
Holmes is currently writing a musical play based upon the series which we fans hope will resolve the cliffhangers.

Show: The Secret World of Alex Mack
Genre: Children's Sci-Fi
Network: Nickelodeon
Last Aired: 1998
Details: This show was about a girl (Larisa Oleynik) who had been dosed with a chemical and had developed super powers. The company that made the chemical was evil and was always trying to find out who she was and capture her for study. The show ended after the company had been defeated and her dad (Michael Blakley), who had recently found out about her superpowers, handed her an antidote he developed (he developed the original chemical Alex had been dosed with). The last shot of the show was Alex looking at the antidote with a funny grin on her face. Some believe that was exactly the way it was meant to end... (Thanks Miles Carter!)
Show: Cybill
Genre: Sitcom
Network: CBS
Last aired: 1998
Episode Title: "Ka-Boom!"
Details: Mary Ann (Christine Baranski) had some financial troubles (her "invisible" husband Dr. Dick tricked her into signing a form, thus giving him control of her fortune). Also, she ended up in jail with Cybill (Cybill Shepherd), whose morning show had just been cancelled, on charges that they had killed Dr. Dick (they bombed him).

Show: F/X: The Series
Genre: Crime Drama
Network: syndicated
Last aired: 1998
Episode Title: "Red Storm"
Details: Based on the movie F/X, with Cameron Daddo and Christina Cox playing two F/X artists solving crimes (yeah, really). So basically, Victor (Andreas Apergis) preteneded to be Rollie (Daddo) to sleep with Angie (Cox). Late in the ep, Angie discussed this with the real Rollie, and later shot at Victor, but there is no proof that Victor died, nor is there any resolution to the Rollie/Angie storyline. (Thanks Sarah Gittens!)

A season ending cliffhanger which was never resolved, but which won't be counted in the Hall of Shame:
Show: Martial Law
Genre: Action Drama
Network: CBS
Cliffhanger Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "End Game"
Details: "Sammo (Hung) playing a guy named Sammo (Law)" pretty much described this crime show. The 1st season ended on a cliffhanger where Sammo and some guy named Lee Hei (Tzi Ma) fell off a chopper. However the show got a rehaul during the summer, and so instead of a real tie-up viewers got a perfunctory one, making not even a mention of Lee's (apparent) death in the 2nd season. The fact there was a second season in the first place, however, is what DQ's it from consideration here.
Show: Turks
Genre: Action Drama
Network: CBS
Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "Live, Love, Lose and Learn"
Details: This show was about a Chicago cop and his family. The last aired episode ended with an explosion at an abortion clinic. Joey, played by Matthew John Armstrong, was one of the police officers assigned to look after the clinic after threats were made. The last scene contained an individual walking outside the clinic when a pipe bomb was thrown in. Joey went into the building to see one of the nurses helping people out, the next thing the bomb exploded. (Thanks, Sheila!)
Show: The Silver Surfer
Genre: Animation Sci-Fi
Network: Fox
Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "End of Eternity, Part One" (according to this page)
Details: Not only was this show one that ended without resolving its premise, it ended on a cliffhanger: Thanos (Gary Krawford) basically destroyed the universe. The Silver Surfer (Paul Essiembre) was supposed to rebuild it the following season, but Marvel's bankruptcy meant it never happened.

Show: Caroline in the City
Genre: Sitcom
Network: NBC
Last aired: 1999
Episode Title: "Caroline and the Big Move"
Details: One of the show's subplots involved the romance between Caroline (Lea Thompson) and Richard (Malcolm Gets). The first two season enders both involved one character about to marry someone else. This thread was rehashed in the fourth season ender when Caroline noticed Richard on the balcony just as she was about to marry recurring character Randy (Anthony Tyler Quinn).

Show: Mortal Kombat: Conquest
Genre: Action Drama
Network: Syndicated
Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "Vengeance"
Details: Shao Kahn (Jeffrey Meek) decided to stop screwing around and sended out hit squads after just about every character in the series to take them out. At the end of the series, he claimed to have already killed them all to the defeated and captured thunder god and showed off souvenirs from all his other defeated enemies. If there had been a second season we would have found out which of the characters had actually been killed, and which had been captured. As it stands we know that Shang Tsung (Bruce Locke) survived to manage to worm his way back into Shao Kahn's partial good graces, that the Reptile species was wiped out at this time for plotting rebellion except for one survivor who may or may not be the leader of the rebellion, and the hero probably survived since these three appear in the video game. (Thanks David Johnston!)


Show: NewsRadio
Genre: Sitcom
Network: NBC
Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "New Hampshire"
Details: After having to suffer from the death of one of the show's stars Phil Hartman, this show finally came to an end in traditional NBC fashion... on a cliffhanger, which had most of the cast moving to New Hampshire to run a local station after the WNYX's owner (Stephen Root) sold the NYC radio station and persuaded most of the cast to move... with the exception of Dave and Matthew (Dave Foley and Andy Dick). NBC never gave the show a chance to renaissance in NH but instead canned it after 5 seasons. (Thanks Lower Wolf!)
Lower Wolf gives his insight on why people complain about some cliffhangers, while not others:
"I think people complain more about series they get more attached to. Out of the ones you mention there I've only seen Soap and Cybill (others mentioned: Popular, Fugitive, Two of A Kind, Remember WENN and Partners), I actually liked the cliffhanger of Soap because it just felt like it was done on purpose with no intention to resolve it. As for Cybill I don't think I've seen all the way to the end, it was a fairly light show that I didn't really get into, that could explain why people didn't really worry about the cliffhanger."


Show: Two of a Kind
Genre: Sitcom
Network: ABC
Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "The Goodbye Girl"
Details: This Olsen twins sitcom (which, like "Full House", was obviously named after a good poker hand) featured Christopher Sieber as the single father of (what else?) twins. One of the regulars was Sally Wheeler who played a female freshman student -- who happened to be their nanny. In the series' 21st ep, the "nanny" left to travel to South America with a classmate (Eric Gustvanson, according to epguides.com) and that was the cliffhanger. Though there was one more episode before the show was canned (an ep which basically lifted the plot of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"), I've decided to include the cliffhanger here. Well, this is one sure sign the series-ending cliffhanger is getting old... The Olsens weren't even born when Jessica Tate got shot in 1981 (they were born in 1986).


Show: Bugs
Genre: Action-Adventure Spy Drama
Network: BBC
Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "The Enemy Within"
Details: One of the major characters, Alex (Paula Hunt), had decided to marry Adam (guest Joseph May). Shortly after the ceremony, Adam was mysteriously shot after arguing with a guest, who also later captured Ros (Jaye Griffiths) and Beckett (Jesse Birdsall). (Thanks The Machine!)


Show: The Sentinel
Genre: Sci-Fi
Network: UPN
Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg"
Details: The title of the finale refers to a thesis written by Garett Maggart's character on Richard Burgi's Det. Jim Ellison, who had enhanced senses. Let's just say that Ellison's secrets getting out wasn't exactly the best thing to happen to him. (Thanks Geoff Akiki!)



Show: Cybersix
Genre: Animated Action
Network: Fox
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Final Confrontation"
Details: Apparently, the title of this show based on an Argentinean comic book refers to the name of an artificially created woman (Cathy Weseluck). Her secret identity: a MALE literature teacher. Apparently, in the end, she and her creator/archfoe Von Richter (Terry Klassen) were caught in an explosion with no apparent way out. BTW, this cliffhanger never aired in the US, it only aired in Canada. (Thanks Michael Lo!)


Show: Sliders
Genre: Sci-Fi
Network: Fox, later Sci-Fi
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Seer" (Rembrandt Brown was found to be one at the end)
Details: At the end of the last episode, Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks) jumped through a wormhole to his home universe, to fight the Kromaggs (I think), leaving the other Sliders behind staring into the wormhole.  I think that this cliffhanger was meant to be bait for the Sci-Fi channel to pick up another season (They all are, aren't they? - Rover_Wow), but they didn't bite. (Thanks Scott A. Hill!)


Show: Superman
Genre: Animated Action Drama
Network: WB
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "Legacy, Part II" (according to this page)
Details: If this doesn't count, at least it comes close. It ended with the world distrusting Superman (Tim Daly, the new Fugitive) because he was mind controlled by Darksied and Superman punching Luthor (Clancy Brown), who was a businessman in this one, in the nose. (Thanks Disruptor!)

Show: Code Name: Eternity
Genre: Sci-Fi
Network: Syndicated (it was made in Canada)
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Shift"
Details: In the last episode, the villain, Banning (Andrew Gillies), fired up his machine to make the Earth inhabitable by his race and inhospitable to humans. Good guys Ethaniel and Laura (Cameron Bancroft and Ingrid Kavelaars) got trapped, but they'd created enough of a chemical to possibly keep a small part of the Earth safe from the weapon. (Thanks Rob!)
Show: Profiler
Genre: Crime Drama
Network: NBC
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "On Your Marks"
Details: NBC had a REALLY sloppy handling of the show's finale. Not only did they show the finale without airing the episode that was supposed to air before (evident in the recap prologue in which there was stuff that hadn't been previously shown yet), they ended the season on a cliffhanger involving the Profiler getting framed for murder, which had been used previously from the Ally Walker era of the show.

Show: The Pretender
Genre: Sci-Fi Conspiracy Drama
Network: NBC
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Inner Sense"
Details: Again, more abuse of the 'hanger by NBC. The final episode ended with a major subway train explosion, a few seconds after a couple of major characters had jumped off the train. However this 'hanger was "resolved" in the telefilm "Pretender 2001" (not exactly a creative title, is it?).
Notes:
1. As mentioned on this page, Michael T. Weiss (from 2000 Malibu Road) was in this one. He's the first actor I know to have been directly involved in 2 different series ending cliffhangers.
2. "The Pretender" did a crossover with "Profiler". Also, 2 stories that were started on this show were concluded on "Profiler".
3. Pamela Gidley had a 2 year stint on this show, and had also appeared in "Strange Luck". Side note: She also appears alongside cliffhanger magnet Ray Wise in the film "Landspeed".
4. There were originally intended to be 4 TP telefilms. TP stopped after just two, leaving quite a few issues unresolved.
Show: Now and Again
Genre: Drama
Network: CBS
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Eggman Cometh" (Referring to the bad guy from this ep, who also appeared in the first ep)
Details: Basically, the protagonist's (Eric Close) wife and daughter (Margaret Collin and Heather Matarazzo) apparently did find out the truth about him (after being killed in a subway accident, his brain was placed in a new genetically bio-engineered body by the US government), and as a result were in mortal danger (the government forbade such contact). The finale ended with him spiriting them out of their house barely a step ahead of the government agents who'd headed there to kill them. (By the way, Christine Baranski of Cybill was apparently in this series according to IMDB, though for clarity, I've left her out of the Hall of Shame as she's uncredited. In fact, I leave out all uncredited roles. BTW, Christine was apparently the wife of some guy the protagonist's wife kept talking to.) (Also, this ep was, according to the now-defunct Scribe's Now and Again Database, intended to set up Eggman, played by Kim Chan, for the next season.) (Thanks David Samuel Barr!)
Show: Get Real
Genre: Drama
Network: Fox
Last Aired: 2000
Details: The final aired ep was a cliffhanger... Also, Fox decided for some reason not to even air the last 2 episodes, let alone order it for a second season, and even IF Fox had aired the season/series finale, it ended with the patriarch of the Green family (played by Jon Tenney) collapsing from a stroke. There was no second season order, so that was a cliffhanger all the same. (Thanks Mediajock!)
Show: Jesse
Genre: Sitcom
Network: NBC
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "My Best Friend's Wedding"
Details: The finale saw Diego (Bruno Campos) about to be deported, and he could only be saved by getting married. ( This 'hanger was also used the previous season, by the way. - Rover_Wow) The title character (Christina Applegate of "Married With Children" fame) was agonising about whether to do so, but when she finally decided to do it, she found that Linda (Liza Snyder) had married him instead. (Thanks Paul Hyett! Yes, the same guy who wrote the Cybill quote you see on my front page.)
Show: Peter Benchley's Amazon
Genre: Adventure Drama
Network: Syndicated
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "A Bible and A Gun"
Details: Because the plane they were in could only carry two, Jimmy (Chris Martin) and Alex (C. Thomas Howell) struggled over a gun, and Jimmy was shot... Alex stayed behind to dress Jimmy's wounds while Karen (Carol Alt, previously of Capitol) flew away in the plane because of approaching cannibals... eventually flying into a storm and having to broadcast a mayday (the submitter doesn't know what happened to the wounded Jimmy or why Alex left him). Alex showed up with a machine gun in one hand and shot down some warriors in time to prevent an execution (however, the submitter doesn't remember whose execution it was), and held up a bible in the other saying he had their "lost words" (get the ep title now?). Anyone care to fill in more details? (Thanks Corwin!)
Show: Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles
Genre: Animated Sci-fi Action
Network: Syndicated
Last Aired: 2000
Details: The show's final arc (on Earth) was cut short (only the first 2 eps of the 5 were made) and the remaining eps replaced with clip shows, even though some of the dialog for the unproduced eps had been recorded. Anyways, the last episode dealt with Rico being the squad leader, sent to check out why a base wasn't reporting in, and being on the edge of a major bug counteroffensive. They were so massively outnumbered that Rico lost his cool, and they eventually fortified a radio tower, hoping help would show up, then as it did, the arriving ships were shot down by Plasma bugs. Carmen, in the last dropship went to pick up Rico and the Roughnecks.
Submitter adds this caveat tho: "But I may be wrong. I know I saw it, as I was a fan at the time, but years have gone by, and I never taped the series."
Also, we have Greg Weisman dropping hints about what he had planned for the final arc, and why these plans never came to fruition. (Thanks Richard Krueger!)
| Main Page | The 80's | 1990-95 | 1996-2000 | 2001 On | Info Wanted Section | Quotes | Poll | Hall of Shame |